CITY HALL — City commissioners on Thursday recommended that the City Council spread federal block grant allocations among more nonprofits rather than bump individual amounts for a smaller group of recipients.
The Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee unanimously settled on a list of funding recommendations for $544,000 in social service funds and $419,833 in capital improvement money after more than 12 hours of interviews and deliberations spanning two public hearings.
The City Council still must approve the allocations, which come at a time when local nonprofits say they need the grant dollars to fill funding gaps amid dwindling donations and soaring demand.
“As nonprofits, we are also facing the same kind of challenges that the government and the businesses are feeling,” said Moeed Khan, a regional director for Catholic Charities of Los Angeles Inc., which runs the Loaves and Fishes food bank on San Fernando Road. “We are experiencing much more greater need than we have in the past.”
Khan was one of more than 20 local nonprofit administrators who pitched more than $1.2 million in combined funding requests for roughly half that in the available grant pool.
Capital improvement funding recommendations Thursday were less competitive, as the commissioners approved partial or full funding for all six community requests, which came in at only $134,213 more than the available funds.
For social services, the committee recommended that the city’s allocation be split among 20 of the 24 local programs that applied for funding. The majority were regular recipients, including New Horizons Family Center, Glendale Youth Alliance and homeless services provider PATH Achieve Glendale.
Commissioners stuck to previous precedents, opting against recommending any significant increases in funding in order to allocate funds to the providers who had opted out last year, including the Glendale Assn. of the Retarded and Homenetmen Glendale “Ararat” chapter.
“So many organizations are in need of funds now,” said committee Chairman Zareh Sinanyan.
For the less competitive capital improvement funding allocations, the advisory committee on Thursday unanimously voted for partial or full funding for all six funding proposals submitted.
Projects included roof repairs and safety improvements at Homenetmen Glendale “Ararat” chapter facilities and window replacements at the city’s Hamilton Court Family Transitional Housing Program.
“When I look at all of these projects, every one of them is viable,” said Commissioner Efrain Olivares. “Given the presentations, they are all worthwhile.”
Tim Peters, executive director of Pasadena-based nonprofit Door of Hope, which operates Hamilton Court, said the federal funds would support capital improvements they would otherwise not be able to make.
“Our precious program operating funds are barely enough to cover our day-to-day operations,” he said.
A proposal for $150,960 for New Horizons’ new family center — which is set to break ground in April after years of preparation — was the only request to receive a significantly lower recommendation in response to eligibility concerns.
Instead, the committee voted to recommend $40,000 in funding to go toward off-site sidewalk improvements that could be considered separated from the main project.
The City Council is scheduled to review the funding recommendations next month.